Adding Life to Your Years

Gwen SmithBlog 4 Comments

I wanted to hurl my screaming alarm clock into an abyss. The warmth of my cozy covers and the safety of sleep beckoned my heart to stay, linger and forget what lay ahead of me that day. On that afternoon, I would sing for the funeral of a precious eighteen year-old family friend who had died in a tragic car accident.

Her name was Macie.

She was a girl who enjoyed life.

She babysat my kids when they were small and would often catch a ride home from church with us. She always had a spring in her step, a hug for a child, a kind word on her lips, and a sweet smile on her face. To know Macie was to love Macie. So, as you can imagine, my heart ached intensely when she died.

The sorrow messed with me.

It was heavy.

Everything about her death seemed wrong. She was so young. So vibrant. So loved.

I yearned to turn back the hands of time and somehow alter the course of Macie’s demise. I wanted her to magically appear at the service and tell us that it was all just a big misunderstanding. That she was fine!

I wanted her to be fine.

I wanted her to be alive.

My angst eventually gave way to peace as I remembered that she was fine – because she was alive in the perfect presence of God. The late Barbara Johnson said, “You never know when your time is going to expire, so remember: as you add years to your life, it is more important to add life to your years.”

Macie only lived on this earth for eighteen short years, but she added life to her years when she surrendered her heart to Jesus Christ a year before her death. I imagine that she now skips along streets of gold, worships God whole-heartedly, and loves on the two babies of mine that are in heaven. She always loved taking care of babies.

The Spirit of God and the confidence of Macie’s salvation consoled me, yet I still had to choose to praise God through my grief.

In the sadness, I had to choose to bless the Lord for His plan. Even though His plan didn’t line up with my expectations. Even though those plans left many hearts heavy with ache. God’s grace enabled me to see rays of light in the dark loss because Macie had professed her faith in Christ and was prepared to meet Him when she breathed her final breath.

Adding life to your years is all about Jesus.

In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”

We can all know hope and peace in Christ.

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Jesus came to give you a life that’s full in His forgiveness, bound by grace and freedom.

Do you know that kind of forgiveness?

Let’s live today in the fullness of Jesus… in response to His grace and goodness.

Colossians 2:6-7 says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Let’s determine to live each day filled with purpose, praise, and thankfulness as we worship God and point others to Him in love.

It was a sad day when we said goodbye to Macie. After leaving the graveside, I went home, hugged my children, and loved on my husband a bit more than normal. Her death reminded me just how precious life is and how important it is to add life to my years.

It’s important for you too.

Live in the moment. Love your people well. God has a plan for you now.


Dear Lord, Thank You for offering eternal life through the perfect and complete sacrifice of Jesus. Thank You for replacing my human hopelessness with your divine hope. Please help me look past the distractions and disappointments of this world and to live each day to the fullest in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Is there someone whom you have offended, won’t forgive, are holding a grudge against or owe an apology to? We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. What would adding life to your years look like for you today?

Let’s pray together today. Meet us in the comments section to share your heart and pray for one another.

Comments 4

  1. Thank you, Gwen! So hard to deal with reality that someone who was such a special joy in our lives is no longer with us– has been transferred into presence of The Lord (Jesus-1 Cor. 10:4). Praising The Lord is my source of comfort; my avenue of “setting my mind on things above.” (One current praise I love to hear, is a huge comfort to my heart as a “former prodigal”—- “So praise to The Father, who gave us The Son; Praise to The Spirit who lives in us, When I was a sinner He saved me from ‘who I ‘was’—That’s what Jesus does!”

  2. I love how you share that through the sadness of Macie’s death you chose to praise God for his plan even through the sadness. Although very painful, you witnessed God’s grace because of her profession and commitment to Christ, And because of that you knew where she would spend eternity and how comforting that was. May we live to serve the Lord today as we are not promised tomorrow.

  3. This came in such perfect timing. Thank you for this post as it reminds me of what matters the most. Adding years to my life would mean forgiving others for their shortcomings, taking an inventory of my hurts, and sharing them with someone I trust, while releasing them to God so I can experience freedom from the chains that bind my heart. ♥️

  4. We lost our beautiful 20 year old granddaughter to a tragic car accident a little over 3 years ago. She left all of us with a precious 22 month old baby boy named River who is 5 now and my husband’s best friend. She was a born again believer and we know that she is in Heaven with the Lord. It has been such a painful experience for so many as you know. Thank you for the reminder that she is where she is supposed to be. Our daughter is raising River and there have been some issues with this sweet little boy, please pray that they can be resolved so that he can be back in school. Thank you so much for your messages to all of us, you are loved!

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